Solomon Nwosu, better known as “D Large”, is one of the few top cats flying the Afrobeat flag high across various cities in Europe. The well-rounded rapper is no newbie in the Nigerian music landscape. He started out as a rapper in his formative days at the Rivers State Polytechnic before the lure of greener pastures took him away from his motherland in search of that elusive pot of gold. D Large has dropped a slew of singles in the past which enjoyed appreciable rotation on the airwaves. D Large tells Tosin Clegg about the rise of Afropop in Europe
It’s been a tough journey with lots of hard work
I have dropped a couple of songs and videos in the past, such as Obuchukwu, Meet Up, Dance For Me, Turn Me On, but here I am now with a fresh one for my fans titled ‘Badda’ and it’s been blowing up the airwaves like a cyclone.
Inspiration behind the name D Large
As you know, the world is large, my country Nigeria is big, and what I have on my mind is massive. So I just had to settle with the name D Large because I am way too loaded with too much stuff to make the world a better place. Music has been part of my life as it’s just like a lifestyle to me. I have been rolling with musicians right from childhood; with the likes of 2much (who manages Duncan Mighty at the moment), Roughhouse Crew to mention a few. I started out mimicking Wyclef Jean back in Rivers State Polytechnic campus, where I studied Auto-Mechanical Engineering.
Afrobeat right now is topping the charts
I used to be a full time hip hop head but right now, I do more of Afropop with a fusion of hi-life and western sound. There used to be a major focus on American sounds but there is a paradigm shift at the moment, people like me have been spreading the gospel of Afrobeat and they love us for it. For now, I can say Afrobeat is the new music culture in Europe. I have been performing all over Europe and have won several awards; I can’t even remember all. I have been the opening act for many African artistes that came to perform in Amsterdam, such as Patoranking, Duncan Mighty and so many others.
My movement has been going smoothly, no doubt
The major challenge I just have is most people’s infidelity when doing business with them. Nigerians at home have this notion that any returnee from overseas has wads of cash to throw around for no reason. Hence, they take your money and don’t get the job done; imagining he has a tree planted somewhere where he plucks money anytime he likes. They forget that people out there work tirelessly from pillar to post to gather resources to push their dreams back home; be it investment in real estate, providing services from experiences gathered overseas et al. People like that are the ones giving Nigerians bad image overseas. Most people in the entertainment industry are very dishonest and I have my own fair share of experience with them, though I have met a few good people whose words are their bond and these are the people I have in my team as the Badda movement grows in leaps and bounds day after day. It’s been a bittersweet experience so far and I believe it will all end in praise.
My new song, Badda is a movement
I’m just trying to tell the story of a man who loves a very beautiful shy girl, the introvert kind of lady but who also loves to enjoy life but do not possess the charisma to show it to the world. She is ravishingly beautiful but she doesn’t know it, so I was only trying to encourage her to come out of her shell in the song. It’s all about showbiz anyway; I was just trying to show that I can take care of my woman, so every man out there should treat his woman like a queen. A king deserves a queen so I was just showcasing my roots as an African Prince in the video, from my regalia to the motorcade. It was just crazy and the pictures really came out beautiful; a big shout-out to Don Kuluku for directing such a crispy video for me. I just reinvented my style and sound, so D Large is coming through with a sound wholly different from what the industry is used to.
I listen to Wyclef Jean a lot
Pharell Williams, Will-I-Am, Ace Hood, Osadebe, Oliver De Coque (my mum plays his music a lot), Fela Anikulapo Kuti and so many others. When it comes to mastering Afrobeat as an art, one has to be very open-minded. So, I tap a lot from all these music legends while I still retain my own style, so I can’t pick a role model per se.
I grew up in a house full of fashionistas
Especially my older brother from whom I tapped a lot. To be honest, I grew up watching lots of foreign TV programmes as a kid; they kind of influenced my style of dressing. I love dressing flashy with a unique style that is peculiar to me. Fashion is like a lifestyle to me, same as music.
Advice to those who want to be a part of the music industry
First of all, you need to focus on your studies, get that basic education because it is very important when it comes to navigating the turbulent waters of this music industry. The entertainment industry is not like a tea party, many young ones out there only see the glamorous side of the industry. You need to be very humble, master your craft, learn from those before you and respect them. Above all, you need to develop a very large heart and a thick skin because many people are going to use you, betray you, take advantage of you, but you just have to learn how to take things in your stride. Put up a proper team (You can start with friends and family who are passionate about your craft and the music industry) then try to get yourself where things are happening and showcase your talent. You never know who is watching. If you are lucky, a well-connected music manager might develop an interest in you and help you get signed to a record label. Study the industry deeply, otherwise, you will just keep running in circles.
I have got so many songs recorded so far
I’m still recording, but I am yet to put a timeline to dropping an album yet, let the industry feel more of my vibe then I and my team will decide when to drop an album. If we are talking about songs, I have got a whole lot of them that are yet to be released. I have worked with Dan Jiggy, Boombeatz, Hycent, DelB, Wizzypro, Illbeat, Selebobo, to mention a few but presently, my official producer is Teekay Witty (The producer of B Red’s song featuring Akon).
To all my fans around the world
I want you to know that your boy D Large is here to stay, I have so much for you all to enjoy for your listening pleasure. I know you all have missed my vibe for some time now but I am right here to stay and I am taking over real soon.